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Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Czech Republic

Contents

Czech-Republic:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Czech-Republic:Historical Development

Czech-Republic:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Czech-Republic:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Czech-Republic:Political and Economic Situation

Czech-Republic:Organisation and Governance

Czech-Republic:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Czech-Republic:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Czech-Republic:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Private Education

Czech-Republic:National Qualifications Framework

Czech-Republic:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Czech-Republic:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Czech-Republic:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Czech-Republic:Funding in Education

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Higher Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training Funding

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Czech-Republic:First Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Bachelor

Czech-Republic:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Second Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Czech-Republic:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Distribution of Responsibilities

Czech-Republic:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Czech-Republic:Main Providers

Czech-Republic:Main Types of Provision

Czech-Republic:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Czech-Republic:Teachers and Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Management and Other Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Educational Support and Guidance

Czech-Republic:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Czech-Republic:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Czech-Republic:Mobility and Internationalisation

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Czech-Republic:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in School Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Czech-Republic:European Perspective

Czech-Republic:Legislation

Czech-Republic:Institutions

Czech-Republic:Bibliography

Czech-Republic:Glossary

2017

Support for the establishment and operation of children’s groups for enterprises and the public outside the Capital City, Prague

In November 2016, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs announced the call Support for the establishment and operation of children’s groups for enterprises and the public outside the Capital City, Prague, within the framework of the Operational Programme Employment. The call focuses on reducing the differences in status between women and men on the labour market, i.e. involving the parents of small children in working life. The call supports the establishment and operation of children’s groups. The daycare services can be provided in several modes, such as: children’s groups (dětská skupina) for the public and children’s groups run by an enterprise. The content of such services is to assure the child’s needs and education and the development of skills and cultural and hygienic habits. The duration of the project planned by the applicant is from 24 to 36 months. The deadline for the physical implementation of the project is 30 June 2020. Deadline for the receipt of applications for subvention is 22 February 2017. The estimated level of the means provided for the project from the EU resources, the state budget of the Czech Republic, or the budget of state funds is CZK 328.1 million (EUR 12.14 million; CZK/EUR 27.02 – 28 January 2017).


2016

Amendment to the Education Act approved – compulsory preschool year

On 24 May 2016, an amendment to the Education Act was approved, introducing the following changes in pre-primary education:


  • the possibility of establishing forest nursery schools (lesní mateřské školy), where education provided outdoors prevails (in force from 1 September 2016); except for the requirements concerning space, the conditions for education (curriculum or staff qualifications) are the same as for mainstream nursery schools;
  • a compulsory year of pre-primary education before the commencement of compulsory school attendance, i.e. from the beginning of the school year following the child'sfifth birthday till the beginning of compulsory school attendance (with effect from 1 January 2017);
  • assuring pre-primary education for children who reach at least four years of age before the beginning of the school year (in force from 1 September 2017);
  • assuring pre-primary education for children who reach at least three years of age before the beginning of the school year (in force from 1 September 2018);
  • assuring pre-primary education for children who reach at least two years of age before the beginning of the school year (in force from 1 September 2020).

For the changes in basic and upper secondary education, see the part on school education, section on Amendment to the Education Act approved (2016).



Career Code – draft amendment to the Act on Education Staff

According to the government policy statement, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports submitted to the comment procedure a draft amendment to the Act on Education Staff, which introduces a new Career Code for teachers. For more information see the part on school education, the section on Career Code – draft amendment to the Act on Education Staff.



Development and grant programmes in the pre-primary education area 2016

Every year, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports announces development programmes that reflect the actual needs of regional education. Within the financing of the programme, the Ministry of Education provides financial support to those measures that cannot be included into the national formula (e.g. because they do not concern all schools and school facilities or it would not be efficient in the given case).

The development programme Logopaedic (speech therapy) prevention in pre-primary education is announced annually. The general objective of the programme is to improve the quality of pre-primary education, both through the further education of teaching staff who develop the language skills of pre-primary children, and by improving the working environment to ensure the quality of speech therapy in pre-primary education.

In the pre-primary education area, it is possible also to apply within other programmes, focused on foreigners, ethnic minorities, and inclusive education. See the list of the programmes in the part on school education in the section on Development and grant programmes 2016.



OP Research, Development and Education – calls in the pre-primary education area

Several calls supporting, among others, pre-primary education have been announced in 2016 under the Operational Programme Research, Development, and Education:

For details, see the appropriate sections of the part on school education (2016).



Draft amendment to the Education Act is being prepared (2016)

On 9 February 2016 the Chamber of Deputies approved a draft amendment to introduce a compulsory final year of pre-school education in order to provide all children with at least one year of pre-school education; it is expected to be in force from the 2017/18 school year. The mandatory pre-school year will be free, as it is now, and it will be possible to undergo it in a nursery school (mateřská škola) recorded in the school register, or also in a preparatory class of a basic school (přípravná třída základní školy) (children with postponement of compulsory school attendance), the preparatory stage of a special basic school (základní škola speciální), individually (home tuition), or in a foreign school on the territory of the Czech Republic. Linked to this is the need to increase the capacity of nursery schools and basic schools in certain areas. Financing the increased needs will be realised by means of the call for the Integrated Regional Operational Programme No. 14, Infrastructure for pre-primary education, and No. 15, Infrastructure for pre-primary education for socially excluded localities, which were announced in December, with a total amount of more than CZK 2.8 billion (EUR 104 million; CZK/EUR 27.035 – 23 March 2016) (see the section Nursery and basic school capacity development fund (2015)). The draft amendment also provides for a gradual reduction of the age from which children are legally entitled to pre-school education (currently, it is from the school year following the child’s fifth birthday; from the 2017/18 school year it will be after the fourth birthday and from the 2018/19 school year after the third birthday). The document is available on the website of the Chamber of Deputies (in Czech).

For other measures proposed in the amendment, see the part on school education in the section Draft amendment to the Education Act is being prepared (2016).



Pilot testing of care for the smallest children in micro-crèches

In January 2016, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs announced calls for the Pilot testing of care for the smallest children in micro-crèches (mikrojesle) in the Czech Republic and the Pilot testing of care for the smallest children in micro-crèches in Prague, within the framework of the Operational Programme Employment. They focus on reducing the differences in status between women and men on the labour market, which means making it possible to balance work and care for children. The project offers municipalities, organisations established by municipalities, or non-profit organisations the opportunity to acquire financial support for establishing and operating “micro-crèches” (i.e. a new type of childcare provision for children from the age of six months to four years, the capacity being four children). Financial support can also be used for the education of nannies in these facilities. The goal is to pilot-test a new system of services providing care for preschool children and to assure the continuing education of nannies for these facilities and, furthermore, to investigate the possibility of introducing a so-called “placement guarantee” for children from one year of age in pre-school facilities and the demand for this service. On the basis of the pilot testing, legal changes to the rules are to be prepared. The duration of the project is 36 months maximum (6 months max. for its establishment and 30 months max. for its operation). The deadline for ending the physical implementation of the project is 31 January 2020. The estimated level of the means provided for the project from EU resources, the state budget of the Czech Republic, or the budget of state funds is CZK 39.4 mil. (EUR 1.47 m.; CZK/EUR 27.025 – 27 January 2016) for Prague, and CZK 98.5 mil. (EUR 3.64 m.; CZK/EUR 27.025 – 27 January 2016) for the remaining regions.



Support for the enterprises and the public for the establishment and operation of facilities caring for preschool age children

In November 2015, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs announced calls for Support for the establishment and operation of facilities caring for children of preschool age for enterprises and the public in the Capital City, Prague and Support for the establishment and operation of facilities caring for children of preschool age for enterprises and the public outside the Capital City, Prague, within the framework of the Operational Programme Employment. They focus on reducing the differences in status between women and men on the labour market, i.e. involving the parents of small children in working life. The call supports the establishment and operation of facilities providing regular care for children from birth, or from one to three years of age, to the start of their compulsory school attendance. The daycare services can be provided in several modes, such as: children’s groups (dětská skupina) for the public and children’s groups run by an enterprise or a regulated trade (profession) (see the introduction to Chapter 4, Early Childhood Education and Care) or a “unregulated (field of) business” (volná živnost) (see the part on alternative structures in Chapter 4). The content of such services is to assure the child’s needs and education and the development of skills and cultural and hygienic habits. The maximum duration of the project planned by the applicant is 36 months. The deadline for the physical implementation of the project is 31 April 2020. The estimated level of the means provided for the project from EU resources, the state budget of the Czech Republic, or the budget of state funds is CZK 165.1 million (EUR 6.1 million; CZK/EUR 27.025 – 27 January 2016) for Prague, and CZK 1013.7 million (EUR 37.5 million; CZK/EUR 27.025 – 27 January 2016) for the remaining regions.



Nursery and basic school capacity development fund (2016)

The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports will support the capacity development of nursery and basic schools via a special fund set up in 2016. Up to CZK 300 million will be distributed by the current call (EUR 11.1 m, CZK/EUR 27.030 – 17 December 2015). For more, see the section on Nursery and basic school capacity development fund (2015) and the website of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (in Czech).



2015

Amendment to the Act on Children´s Groups approved

In December 2014 a draft to the Act on Providing Care to Children in a Children’s Group was presented to the Parliament of the Czech Republic. In agreement with the amendment, which was approved by the Parliament and signed by the President in May 2015, being added to the register of providers of such care is now voluntary. It provides for e.g. forest kindergartens and other forms of preschool facilities to voluntarily choose whether to be added to the facility register. Newly, in agreement with the decree, a group of up to 12 children can be exempted from hygienic requirements set by the Regional Hygiene Station. For more, see the website of the Chamber of Deputies (in Czech).



Long-term Plan for Education and the Development of the Education System of the Czech Republic (2015–2020)

In April 2015 the Long-term Plan for Education and the Development of the Education System of the Czech Republic (2015-2020) was approved by the Government. For more see the section on Long-term Plan for Education and the Development of the Education System of the Czech Republic (2015-2020) in the part on National Reforms in School Education.



Amendment to the Education Act Approved (2015)

In April a draft amendment to the Education Act was signed by the President. Part of the amendment already took effect in May; another part will enter into force from 1 September 2015 and certain provisions only on 1 September 2016. In the area of early childhood education, rules to educate children with special educational needs should newly be specified, as well as preparatory classes being provided for all children (not only those who are socially disadvantaged). For more information, see the section on Amendment to the Education Act approved (2015) in the part on National Reforms in School Education.



Nursery and Basic School Capacity Development Fund (2015)

As a result of the prevailing demographic trend, pre-school education institutions are struggling to cope with insufficient capacity for children, especially children aged three or less (for details see the section on Geographical Accessibility in programmes for children aged more than two-three years). The proportion of children below three years old in nursery schools registered in the school register was 9.1% in the 2013/2014 school year. The educational opportunities opening for children up to three years old in nursery schools have become one of the objectives of the Education Policy Strategy of the Czech Republic until 2020. The availability of public nursery schools is still poor, which particularly affects low-income groups.


In 2015, the increase in the capacity of preschool institutions registered in the school register was supported by both European and national sources. The support will also continue in the following year. As of March 2015, 50 projects amounting to CZK 400 million CZK (EUR 14.5 m; CZK/EUR 27.523 – 27 March 2015) had already been approved by the Fund for the Development of the Capacity of Nursery Schools and Basic Schools, amounting to a total of CZK 1.5 billion (EUR 54.5 m). The capacities of nursery schools and basic schools should also be balanced in 2016 with the help of the Fund for the Development of the Capacity of Nursery Schools and Basic Schools, which will be able to distribute the amount of CZK 300 million (EUR 10.9 m) per year. Financial support for investment in pre-primary education will also be allocated within the Integrated Regional Operational Programme (IROP).



2014

New Act on Providing Care to Children in a Children´s Group

In its strategic documents the Czech Republic stresses the necessity to increase the quality and accessibility of pre-primary education and to provide systemic support to other forms of care for children up to six years of age and an increase in the employment of the parents of children. This is, among others, a reaction to the Recommendation of the European Commission No. 4 for 2013: "Significantly increase the availability of inclusive childcare facilities with a focus on children up to three years old, and the participation of Roma children, in particular by adopting and implementing a law on the provision of childcare services and strengthening the capacities of both public and private childcare services."

A new legislative form – a children’s group (dětská skupina) – was adopted in November 2014 as one of the supporting instruments (Act on Providing Care to Children in a Children’s Group). The amendment to the Act was already approved in May 2015 (see the section Amendment to the Act on Children’s Groups approved). A children’s group is exclusively aimed at children from one year of age until the commencement of compulsory schooling (six/seven years). Employers establish a children’s group for the children of their employees. Furthermore, some organising bodies can also establish this service for all children. The service is provided on a non-commercial basis. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs files the evidence of providers; inspections will be carried out by the State Office of Work Inspection and regional labour inspectorates, while inspections focused on the fulfilment of hygienic requirements will be carried out by the regional hygienic station. For more details see Chapter 4 on Early Childhood Education and Care.


The Act on Providing Care to Children in a Children’s Group does not include the direct support of the children’s group from the central state budget. However, tax benefits were introduced both for the provider of the service and the child’s parents (see the section on Tax benefits for pre-school facilities and children’s groups). Municipalities can establish a children’s group and subsidise it from their budgets.



Tax benefits for pre-school facilities and children´s groups

The law on Income Tax was supplemented by two measures. One is the introduction of the possibility of employers deducting expenses from the tax base for the provision of taking care of the pre-school age children of their own employees run either by employers themselves or by other entities. An allowance for the placement of a child was introduced – an income tax rebate equalling the amount spent on the placement of a child in a pre-school facility for parents who are gainfully employed. The amended law will apply to nursery schools (listed in the school registry) and to facilities for children up to three years of age, or those for pre-school age children, established according to the Trade Licensing Act (for more, see the Act on Income Taxes).



Draft amendment to the Education Act (2014)

By August 2014 a draft amendment to the Education Act had been approved by the Government. In April the draft amendment was signed by the President. For more details see the section on Amendment to the Education Act approved (2015), the part on National Reforms in School Education.